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May 20, 1988
One would have to be deaf, dumb and blind to be unaware of the insurance industry's multimedia blitz concerning no-fault insurance. This canard must be refuted. Does anyone really believe that the insurance companies, widely known for their philanthropy, are interested in saving consumers' insurance dollars? Nothing could be further from the truth. In other no-fault states, the insurance industry has reaped huge profits from the conversion to no-fault, without lowering rates. The fact is California's insurance laws protect the consumer adequately (although they could do much more)
August 29, 2002 | Associated Press
Conseco Inc. was dealt another blow when a court upheld an arbitrator's order that it pay nearly $27 million for violations of consumer protection laws by a company Conseco acquired. The South Carolina Supreme Court made the ruling in a case that was argued in March. The case affects 3,739 South Carolina customers with home-improvement or mobile-home loans in the mid-1990s from what was then Green Tree Financial Corp. Conseco bought Green Tree in 1998, two years after the dispute began.
February 12, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Joe bought a new car and received a few free months of Sirius XM, the satellite radio service. When that was done, Sirius asked if he wanted a six-month trial for $25. Joe said yes. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Then he lost track of time. After six months passed, Joe noticed that Sirius had dinged him for more than $100 to continue his subscription. He asks: Is that legal? It's not only legal, it's common. For more on what you should do -- and my thoughts on satellite radio -- check out today's Ask Laz video.
December 5, 2013 | By David Lazarus
I don't get bitcoins. I'm not saying they're a scam. I just don't get them. For the uninitiated, bitcoins are a made-up digital currency not backed by the full faith and credit of any government. They're worth only what users say they're worth. And they seem to be growing in popularity (except in China, which says it wants nothing to do with them). ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Fred says he doesn't have any bitcoins. But if he did, he wants to know if he could exchange them for real dollars.
December 3, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Kya sells ceramic masks online. A buyer recently instructed her to cash his check and then allow him to pick up his mask later. Kya asks: Is this some kind of scam? Answer: Probably. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It sounds like a variation of a relatively common scam involving bogus checks -- a racket that the Federal Trade Commission says has become a fact of life online. For details of the scam and my advice for not getting duped, check out today's Ask Laz video.
January 15, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Julia is apparently having trouble with her mortgage lender because she wants to know how long such companies have to maintain phone records. I'm guessing that she's hoping there's a smoking gun in one of her past conversations with a bank rep. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions Federal law requires that big banks keep customers' checking and savings records for a minimum of five years. Mortgage records can vary from state to state, but it looks like most require that such files be kept for at least three years.
March 15, 1992
As a previous insurance salesman, now a self-employed technician in Santa Barbara, I actively turn down all medical insurance coverage. Very little of the premium dollar goes to actual care. Insurance companies lobby for whatever laws would require all people to be on their books. They also have high-commission people working in high-rent buildings, while fraudulent claims go unchecked. Doctors are the least to blame. Hospitals charge $3 for aspirin and must show a bottom-line profit.
November 26, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Jared wants to know how he can find a certified financial planner who doesn't hit clients for huge commissions but instead wants only a fee for his or her services. First off, big props to you, Jared, for getting your financial house in order. Too many people let things slide instead of making prudent moves to shore up retirement plans or earn the most from their investments. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions It's true that many financial planners want a commission.
November 14, 2013 | By David Lazarus
Kyle says he receives a lot of unwanted email from his cable provider, Time Warner Cable. He also says the company appears to be sending him email from other companies. Kyle's question: Is my cable company a spammer? ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions And the answer is: Yup. Although Time Warner Cable would characterize it instead as notifying customers about goods and services in which they may be interested. What can you do about it? Check out the surprising process in today's Ask Laz video.
March 21, 2014 | By David Lazarus
Lee is making some changes in his life. He wants to know what happens if he renounces his U.S. citizenship and becomes instead a citizen of the Philippines. Can he keep receiving Social Security checks? An intriguing scenario. Lee doesn't say why he wants to switch teams, but it could have something to do with taxes. A number of Americans jump ship each year because they're displeased with the U.S. tax system. ASK LAZ: Smart answers to consumer questions In any case, the Social Security Administration does have a status for ex-citizens who may be due monthly checks.
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